Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli makes for a perfect side dish to almost any meal! It’s easy to prepare, requires minimal ingredients and cooks in only 15 minutes. Spruce up your broccoli with additional herbs and spices or simply enjoy with a bit of salt and pepper!
What is Tenderstem Broccoli?
Though sometimes referred to as ‘baby broccoli’, tenderstem broccoli is actually a hybrid of two different types of broccoli: Chinese broccoli (aka gai lan or Chinese Kale) and standard broccoli.
Tenderstem broccoli combines the leafy, long stems of Chinese broccoli with the familiar florets of regular broccoli. The combined result makes for a sweeter, more delicately flavored veggie.
When it comes to taste, texture and appearance – tenderstem broccoli is almost like asparagus with a small broccoli floret on top.
It’s not a genetically modified vegetable, but a cross-breed.
Chinese broccoli and regular broccoli share many similar traits and DNA since they both belong to the cruciferous family. This means that they can be selectively grown to be softer, sweeter, long broccoli.
Is tenderstem broccoli the same as broccolini?
Yes! Tenderstem broccoli and broccolini are both different trademark names for this hybrid of broccoli.
Depending on which country you’re in – you might find it sold under either name. The UK seems to sell Tenderstem broccoli while North American usually uses ‘Broccolini’.
What about Purple Sprouting Broccoli?
Since broccolini and tenderstem broccoli are trademarked, they can only be grown and sold by specific companies.
Purple sprouting broccoli is very similar to broccolini and available to grow and sell anywhere by anyone. It has the same long stems and is sweeter than regular broccoli.
You can use purple sprouting broccoli in recipes that call for tenderstem broccoli and broccolini.
Is it the same as broccoli rabe?
No. Though they do look similar, broccoli rabe is more leafy, bitter and tastes quite different from regular broccoli.
It’s actually closer to a turnip or mustard greens. Broccoli rabe usually needs more cooking to soften the hard stems and strong flavours to work with its bitter notes.
How to Make Crispy Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
Just like regular roasted broccoli this is a very easy recipe that takes very little prep and time.
The thinner stems cook in less time and the naturally sweet flavour requires less seasoning. The prep can be done in a matter of minutes. The rest of the cook time is completely hands off.
All you need is a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper and you’re good to go. You can even prepare everything all on one large baking tray for an even easier clean up.
- Add fresh broccoli to a large baking sheet or roasting tin.
- Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to toss the broccoli florets in oil and seasoning. Make sure to evenly coat the broccoli.
- Spread florets out in an even, single layer.
- Place the sheet pan in the middle of a hot oven and bake for about 15 minutes. The edges of the roasted broccoli should be crispy and slightly charred in places.
Tip! Make it Crispy
Make sure to leave a bit of space in between each and every piece of broccoli on the baking sheet. If the broccoli is too crowded in the oven it will steam which will prevent the edges from crisping up. If you need – use an extra baking sheet.
More Commonly Asked Questions
Can you eat the stems on tenderstem broccoli?
- Yes! One of the great things about it is that every last bit of it is edible and easy to eat without any extra cooking or preparation.
Is tenderstem broccoli low fodmap?
- According to the Monash University app, only the stalks of tenderstem broccoli are low fodmap (in a one cup serving). The stems are low fodmap and the florets are high fodmap. Tenderstem broccoli is a high fodmap food.
- If you need to follow a low fodmap diet, you’re better off eating regular broccoli. Regular broccoli stems are high fodmap while the florets (in a one cup serving size) are low.
Is tenderstem broccoli healthier than normal broccoli?
While tenderstem broccoli and broccolini both offer very similar nutrients and health benefits, standard broccoli provides greater amounts of certain vitamins (like vitamin A and vitamin C).
Even though tenderstem doesn’t provide quite as much nutritionally speaking, both are still great and healthy options to include in your diet.
Ways to Spruce up your roasted broccolini:
While salt and pepper really are more than enough to season roasted veg, here are a few different ways to pack in an extra punch of flavor!
- Add a bit of lemon zest to the broccoli before roasting then finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end.
- Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick of spice.
- Grate parmesan cheese over the top before adding it to the oven.
- Throw in a couple garlic cloves or some garlic powder.
- Mix in flaked almonds or hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for extra crunch.
Let me know if you try this out! Leave a comment and review with your thoughts and favorite ways to roast broccoli. I always appreciate the comments and serving ideas that you come up with!
- 16 ounces (450 g) tenderstem broccoli (broccolini)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. For easy cleanup: line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, if desired.
- Place broccoli on baking sheet. Drizzle oil over the top. Toss until each floret has been lightly coated in oil. Spread out in an even layer across the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the edges have slightly charred.
- Season with additional salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.
- Make sure to spread the broccoli out in a single layer. If the baking sheet gets too crowded and the broccoli overlaps it will steam up in the oven and not get crispy.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan before roasting.
- Add a pinch of chili flakes along with the salt and pepper.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top just before servings.
- Add flaked almonds or pepitas for additional crunch.
More Roast Vegetables You Might Enjoy:
- Honey Roast Parsnips
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Roasted Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Teriyaki Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
- Roasted Butternut Squash Slices with Parsley Pesto
- Garlic and Chili Roasted Broccoli Salad
- Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad With A Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette